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Black Mesa Goes Commercial

The Black Mesa Forums celebrate the 15th anniversary of the release of Half-Life with the news that Black Mesa, their Source-engine remake of the shooter, is coming to Steam as a commercial release (thanks Eurogamer). Here's the announcement:

The Big News:
Last year, Black Mesa was one of the first Steam games to be Greenlit by you, our amazing fans. We've had quite a year since then, with a lot happening internally that we haven't been able to talk about... until now. Black Mesa has been given the opportunity to be sold as a retail product on Steam! This is an incredible honor - one we never expected - but also one we found hard to accept.

We never developed Black Mesa with money in mind. Our team is made up of average, hardworking people, and no one joined the team to make money. For us, Black Mesa is purely a labor of love. We believe this philosophy has significantly contributed to the overall quality and feel of the game.

Our decision to sell Black Mesa rests on two key points. One is we believe we can make the game even better by having full access to the Source engine. This lets us tackle and fix limitations instead of working around them. The second is because frankly, our team could really use the financial help.

The Plan:
Soon you'll see Black Mesa available on Steam for a relatively low price. But we aren't dropping all support for the free version. In fact shortly after the Steam release there will be a completely new free version of the game. We also plan to open source our maps and some game assets to the modding community!

Purchasing the Steam version of Black Mesa is more about supporting the team and our efforts than anything else. However, the Steam version will include features that the free version simply can not have. We will be paying careful attention to feedback, and you'll have a very real say in how the final game turns out.

Long-Term Plans and Xen:
We've been overwhelmed by fan anticipation for Xen, and we're excited so many people are eager to conclude the game. To be totally honest however, Xen is still a ways off. Over the past year, we have spent a HUGE amount of time porting the game to a new engine and fixing hundreds of bugs. The work to port to the new engine was not because of the decision to go retail, this was work that had to be done to get Black Mesa onto Steam and support our future plans.

So, please be patient with us as we work to make Xen a stunning and worthy conclusion to Black Mesa. Until Xen is completed, we have multiple interesting additions planned for the Steam version of Black Mesa, which we will announce later on down the road.

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70. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 18:43 Beamer
Wesp5 wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 16:50:
Beamer wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 16:07:
That only games created by original Valve employees are Valve games?

I don't think you want to understand me. In my eyes all these commercialized mods are just diversions from the HL series, which is what I really care about! I don't think Valve has time forever to finish HL3 and the time they spend on other things like DOTA2 is lost for the HL series. And of course all of this is much easier than actually creating a completely new game that blows everyone away!

Find me the link where Newell says that HL2 was delayed solely due to Steam.

Not solely, but a big part surely was that Newell concentrated on Steam. Google produced in which it says: "But in early 2002 Newell let the rest of the team take the lead on the development of the game...Instead, he began working on other projects, like Steam..." I wouldn't be surprised if the same thing happened to HL3: Newell is busy planning to take the living room with the Steamboxes, while the rest of Valve spends their time commercialising mods and working on HL3 on the side. By the time HL3 will be released gamers may either have forgotten it or have so high expectations, that they can't ever be satisfied. I want HL3 to be great, but I fear for the worst!

Gabe spending less time isn't a huge deal. He let the rest of the team take the lead. It isn't like he was still the decision maker and drawing out decisions.

As for your argument that few people care about HL3 anymore, you're mostly right, but that isn't because it's taken too long. People didn't stop caring about Duke Nukem Forever because it took too long. People stopped caring about Duke because he was a remnant from another time that hadn't aged well. The character hadn't aged well, the design hadn't aged well, and the game itself sucked.

Half Life hasn't particularly aged well, either. It's still fun, nostalgically, but it's a fairly shallow game. Popular first person games these days tend to have either RPG elements, team elements, or both. HL didn't have either.

Can you name a single first person game similar to Half Life that's done well recently?
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